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Chinese Education Options for International Citizens

Chinese parents have a reputation of caring too much for their kids’ education. But as parents, it is very important for your children to have a good education. The most important thing about education is to select a good school for kids. So if you are learning Chinese and intent on having your kids to learn Chinese too, which school should you choose? Today, we will have a close look at these schools, which have a Chinese program.

1. International schools in China. If you live in cities, it’s not hard to find an international school. Be aware that different schools follow different systems so you need to be careful about the curriculum the school offers. It’s not hard to tell which system it is from the name of the school. For example, The British International School.

The advantage is this school system is 100% the same as ones in the native county. If you are a British, it’s just like you send your kids to a local school in England and your kids won’t have any problem adapting to the new school. But there is a disadvantage with this type of school. Since these schools usually don’t accept local Chinese students and teachers all use English or other languages except Chinese, your kids will lose a good chance to get know China and Chinese. Although most international schools in China offer Chinese classes, it’s not comprehensive enough. Besides this type of school tend to be very expensive. Here are a couple of website of international schools that is well known in China.

2. International division of local Chinese schools. Some local Chinese schools have international division. It’s a part of the local school but has its own curriculum. It will offer different curriculum such as IB, AP along with more Chinese classes than an international school. Students won’t have any problem on applying for higher level schooling. Since more local teachers and students are involved, kids will get a better opportunity to get know Chinese language and culture. But the international diploma is new in China and you need to look closely if the school is experienced on international education.

3. Local schools. If you would like to have your kids to be in an “authentic” Chinese environment, local school is a good option. Usually the school will offer special language class for foreign students, but all other classes will be the same. Your kids will learn math, science, and art classes with local students. Your kids will definitely master Chinese language with so much immersion. The weakness is the curriculum may lead your kids to need more time adapting another school system when you relocate. Additionally, everyone knows Chinese school push a lot pressure on students’ performance. You need to make sure your kids won’t feel anxious in the school.

If you are not living in China now, but you still want your kids to learn Chinese, there are options available as well. Now more and more schools offer Chinese class oversea.

  1. Local schools offering Chinese classes. More and more schools oversea offer Chinese as a foreign language class. You just need to search the school in your area. It’s good for those who are interested in Chinese.
  1. If you need a more serious Chinese class, immersion school is another choice. These schools provide immersion courses from pre-school to high school level. Most of classes are taught in Chinese. The teachers in those schools are usually strictly trained.
  1. Sunday school. There is always Sunday school for Chinese language for Chinese children. Chinese heritage owners manage most of them and hold them every Sunday or once a week. Although it’s originally designed for Chinese heritage kids, it’s always welcomes any child who are interested in Chinese.

Now you know a bit about the education options in China or aboard, you can make a decision on which school is the best for your kids. There is a lot of information out there and a lot to chose from. But if you are not sure and have some questions, feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to answer your question! Good luck on your Chinese studies!

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Vera Zhang

After graduating from East China Normal University in 2005, Vera Zhang (张晓丽) started her career in teaching Chinese as a second language. Her first teaching job was teaching high school Chinese in Philippines and realized how much she loved this job. In 2007, she came back Shanghai and spent 7 years in ChinesePod. During that, she also went to America to learn language learning knowledge and curriculum editing by teaching in a high school. Now she works in a start-up company and has developed a new Chinese learning app-HelloChinese. She hopes she can share her knowledge in Chinese and make Chinese learning easy and fun.

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